Is Windows 10 an Impending Disaster for Microsoft?

charlie-brownAs part of Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program, I’ve been testing the pre-release versions of Windows 10 for the last couple of months. I must say that for a Windows operating system, Windows 10 is actually pretty good. It’s no Mac OS X, but Microsoft seems to have learned its lesson from the Windows 8 debacle and has returned to a more traditional “start menu” interface, all while delivering some under-the-hood changes that should please the most techie among us. However, for as decent of an operating system Windows 10 may turn out to be, the way that Microsoft is delivering the upgrade may end up being an unmitigated disaster.

There are two worlds when it comes to Microsoft products. The ideal world where every Microsoft product works exactly as it should in perfect harmony with the hardware it runs on and the users who use it. And then there is the real world. I live in the real world every day. The real world where a variety of factors cause technology products to not work exactly as expected. Microsoft software is especially susceptible to a variety of issues. The plethora of hardware platforms that Windows runs on combined with the sheer number of PCs that have Windows installed virtually guarantee that large swaths of computing scenarios can not be thoroughly tested. In addition, the rampant spread of malware on Windows causes many unexpected problems. So it is almost impossible that a major operating system upgrade like Windows 10 will be glitch-free when released. This is par for the course when referencing a Microsoft Windows upgrade and normally it isn’t a disaster for Microsoft (save, for Windows Vista). The reality is that very few people have historically upgraded their Windows operating systems so the potential for widespread problems has been contained. However, this time is very different. Microsoft is giving away free upgrades of Windows 10 to users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 and making it available as a download through the Windows Update system.

The potential disaster in-waiting for Microsoft begins when millions of possibly unsuspecting Windows users launch a Windows update and end up installing Windows 10 without knowing what they are getting themselves into. The worst-case scenario is that millions of Windows computers become inoperable because the upgrade failed. Any number of reasons may be to blame such as malware, aging hardware, disk corruption, outdated drivers, or just unexplainable Windows “glitches.” Imagine for a moment that starting on July 29th, millions of Windows users suddenly can not use their computers. The tidal wave of support calls and complaints would be enough to bring any company to its knees, but even worse, the ensuing PR nightmare would be a bloodbath for Microsoft. A bloodbath that would likely go on for months and the stigma associated would linger for years.

But shouldn’t the lengthy testing phase with the Windows Insider Program have rooted out these problems already? Even with all the testing taking place, it is highly unlikely that the number of people participating is a fraction of a percent of the installed base of Windows users. Beyond that, the possible fatal flaw is that for all the testing done, it is doubtful that the upgrade process was tested as thoroughly as truly necessary for a rollout of this magnitude. I can’t imagine that many of the Windows Insider participants spent a lot of time backing up their old operating systems, upgrading to Windows 10, wiping it out, restoring their old operating systems, and upgrading to Windows 10 again. That’s really boring and time consuming stuff. So Microsoft is about to unleash an unprecedented (for Microsoft) major operating system upgrade to millions of real-world systems with a relatively minimal amount of testing. I’m sure there are many people at Microsoft who will have their fingers crossed on July 29th.

Even if the worst-case scenario doesn’t materialize, there are still possible PR nightmare storylines for Microsoft waiting in the wings. First, if even a small percentage of people have problems it could be blown out of proportion. Haters gonna hate and just a few incidents of bricked PCs might be enough to cause a “-gate” named uproar. Second, even if by some miracle there are relatively few technical glitches with the millions of Windows 10 upgrades that will take place starting on July 29th, many users may still be bewildered by the sudden change in appearance of their operating system. I know as well as anyone just how fickle computer users can be by the slightest change in their daily computing routines. Windows 10 is a big enough change from either Windows 7 or Windows 8 to make many users flip their lids. While Microsoft may have learned that Windows 8 was too big of a shift for most Windows users, it doesn’t appear they have learned that most Windows users don’t like any change, especially when that change in completely unexpected. It won’t take too many public complaints for this to turn into a snowball of bad PR for Microsoft.

Again, the danger is in the way Microsoft is positioning the Windows 10 upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. By putting it out in the user’s faces so prominently, I believe many users will inadvertently start the upgrade to Windows 10 without being fully cognizant of what they are doing. Microsoft makes it seem like upgrading to Windows 10 will simply be just another Windows update, and of course, we’ve all been repeatedly told that everyone should stay up to date! But the reality is that upgrading an operating system is not something you should go into with blinders on. Those who purposely upgrade to Windows 10 at least know the risks and possible consequences of a major operating system upgrade and are expecting the changes. But your mom probably doesn’t. And guess who she’s going to call when her icons don’t look the same as they did yesterday.

As a technology professional who will likely be inundated with calls if any of these nightmare scenarios takes place, I honestly hope this is not as big of a disaster as it possibly could be. I do not wish bad things to happen to anyone’s technology but as I’ve shown, the right circumstances are in place for an upcoming Win-pocalypse. It would be irresponsible for me not to share this information.

Did you ever have the feeling of impending doom? I sure do. Do you think July 29th will be a day that will live in infamy or am I over-thinking things?

  • Another_Lurker

    The mistake is MS is not differentiating between technically skilled users and the skills of the average user. Technically skilled users may be able to fix most of the update issues on their own with much Googling. They know enough to know how to start. The average, unskilled user has no idea what to do and will be in full panic mode. MS is overselling how easy the upgrade will be, it will not be that easy. There are too many things that could and in cases will go wrong.

    • They definitely are overselling how easy the upgrade will be. I’m having trouble just upgrading from one preview release to the next! And this was a clean install of Windows 10! I shudder at what’s going to happen when millions of installs are attempted on Win 7/8 PCs in the wild. Especially when those upgrades are done by people who don’t quite understand what they’re getting into.

      • Another_Lurker

        I would say the PR disaster would be epic. It could be enough to seriously damage the company. Having numerous OS installs of Windows and Linux I would hate to what happens when the masses are doing an OS upgrade.

        • At this point in time, if Microsoft fumbles Windows 10, it could be the definitive tipping point that ensures they will no longer be a dominant technology company (at least like they used to be).

          • Another_Lurker

            When I heard MS call this the last Windows version my first reaction was they going to a rolling release model for Windows. If this is at all correct, then I will not be surprised at howling from users starting in about 6 months about new problems immediately after an update. Rolling releases OSes such as Arch Linux (I use Manjaro) require more skill from the user to fix issues that crop up from time to time after an update. Skills the average user does not have nor should anyone expect them to have these skills.

          • Patrick O’Brien

            Ii tried to download windows 10 and after hours and hours of downloading I still cannot get 10 to install over windows 7 home premium ed. I WOULD CALL CUSTOMER SUPPORT EXCEPT i HAVE A HEARING PROBLEM, The people there do not speak clear english. Their accents are unrecognizable. This country has so many foreigners that cannot speak english except in a broken fashion, they are no help. P o’brien

    • Chris Westcott

      You hit the nail on the head… I’m a moderately strong user (not a techie) and my Windows 10 upgrade was OK but 3 days later I got the first big update which resulted in an endless restart loop. With no resolution within a week, I trashed the PC and bought a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed. Like I said, I’m no techie, but stronger than average. If it was a disaster for me, how will the more average user fare? And yes, I did consider going Apple… I thought very long before staying MS

      • Another_Lurker

        I use a rolling release Linux distro and about 3 or 4 times a year the update requires me to do a little more work. Here are the keys: the update fails gracefully – the computer remains fully functional – and it gives an error message(s) indicating what the issue is that often suggests are fairly simple resolution. This is an inherent risk common to rolling release and semi-rolling release distros. With W10 acting like a semi-rolling release distro there could be a lot wailing and gnashing of teeth in the near future.

      • That’s an interesting related topic. The upgrade itself may be fine, but future updates may break Windows 10 on particular machines. I’ll need to keep an eye on this.

  • chojin999

    Windows10 is just Windows8.2. Also Microsoft is not releasing DirectX 12 for Windows8 and 8.1 and they are killing Windows7 support completely. All in a hope to make a fool of customers and make them upgrade to the Windows 10 huge mess that is. Also the whole Windows 10 for free but Microsoft now says that their new vision is “Windows as service” which just means that it won’t be for free for anyone because it seems pretty obvious that Microsoft will ask money for future updates to the OS… and they will probably change the Service Pack name too because they claimed that Service Packs are no more…
    Anyway, Windows10 is the worst Microsoft OS to date. Worse than Windows Vista. The Metro/ModernUI mess is still there. And the whole Universal Apps thing with .NET/C# still to kill Win32 programs and replace everything with the awful Metro/ModernUI is a pathetic mess.
    Then add to that that the first benchmarks for DirectX 12 show that all Microsoft claims about +200% to +500% performance increase were just b*ll … there is not going to be any huge improvement at all. At the best games will show 10 instead of 5 or 6 3D characters on the screen at the same time and things like that… No real huge framerate boost, no better texture or filtering or anything.
    DirectX 12 is as much useless as Windows 10 and the whole Metro/ModernUI crap.

    • Now that you mention it, you may be right about how Microsoft will charge for Windows. They may want a subscription fee after say one year, which is why Windows 7 and 8 users must upgrade within the first year … hmmm. We’ll see how it goes. If Windows 10 is a disaster, Microsoft may have a hard time getting anyone to pay for it.

      • tgvas

        Among privacy issues the end agenda is to ban any ownership of Operating Systems to replace that with renting.
        It is a scam and anyone considering upgrading to 10 should do the research to see what this is all about first, and it’s not about benefiting the user!

  • Charles Cosimano

    It could be the last thing to come out of Microsoft after the disaster wreckes the company.

    • That could be true. Microsoft has had the luxury of a lot of money in the bank to keep going through their past mistakes, but this one could be nearly fatal if it is as bad as it could be. Less than 24 hours to go …

  • Martin Clark

    Doom is a distinct possibility. My first “keep your files and settings” install started off with the NVidia mess. Then Office Pro Plus 2013 reinstall went bad, LibreOffice would not install, uninstalling Office brought the whole thing crashing down. Next was a “clean” install. First “upgrade” after reinstalling Office crashed everything again. Ok – Office gone in the garbage bin, I installed portable LibreOffice, but as I need compliant Excel, I installed WPS (aka Kingsoft). Well-behaved, free, and only $A108 for a permanent licence. Other things that won’t work so far are Google Earth, XNews (NNTP disabled?), and Bitdefender. Photo app is no substitute for Windows photo viewer, which exists but is hidden. Really weird image for the login screen. Car headlights shining into a smoke-filled room, or aliens out front? There are ways of getting rid of it but it comes back. Actually, “weird” does not cover it. More a case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Reworking power settings resulted in no settings, eg everything on for ever. So far “free” Windows 10 has cost me about $500 and about 4-5 days lost work time. When asked what I think, I now select “1” eg would not recommend to anybody, and I tell them why. Further into the financial year I might buy a state of the art CAD package for Linux (eg ARES). It’s the CAD that holds me back.

    • I’m sorry to hear it went so bad for you! Overall, it seems that there have not been any problems on a mass scale with Windows 10 upgrades so far. That’s the good news. The question then becomes how many people are ignoring the Windows 10 icon? So far it seems that not too many people are upgrading by accident, so that’s good. But Microsoft probably isn’t happy about that! They want everyone on Windows 10 ASAP!

      • Martin Clark

        Hi Marcel,
        Another day another upgrade …. no disasters yet :-O
        My advice is, avoid the temptation of workarounds or fixits for a while, put up with all the silly stuff (provided it isn’t gobbling your download entitlements), and where possible, avoid applications that are heavily hooked into the system, If it is portable, or sits quietly in its own little corner, it may be less likely to cause a disaster, or promote an adverse reaction from this vengeful operating system.
        Bitdefender now works ok, Google Earth Pro also. (GEP still has the same bugs, so not the fault of the OS.)

        • Your advice is certainly sound. In my experience, the less you “stress” Windows, the better it behaves. The same probably applies to Windows 10.

          I still advise people to continue to wait to upgrade to Windows 10 on important computers for at least a couple more months, just to give more time for initial problems to be worked out. So far there haven’t been widespread reports of problems, but there have been some issues. And if the pace of upgrading is slow, there may be more issues waiting to be uncovered over time as more people attempt the upgrade.

      • MyName

        Windows 10 is definitely the worst system on earth! My keyboard is messed up with wrong characters, the system regularly hangs and all the time MS is sending popups telling me they are installing new stuff. Unfortunately the period to fallback to windows 7 has passed so I will need a complete install with windows 7 to have my laptop functioning normally again. God knows how MS got all these good reviews (probably by buying everybody) since EVERYBODY I know who is using wiindows 10 has the same AWFUL FRUSTRATING experience ……

      • doug

        there has been problems on mass scales about windows 10 I do not know anyone that has not had problems with it. I took windows 10 off my computer and replaced it with windows 8 now my computer runs very well. Every one should do the same take windows 10 off your computer and get Microsoft to pay for replacement

  • End of the Line for MS

    I had a catastrophic experience with windows 10, because, despite having
    powerful hardware, my mother is an x58. Is 8 years old, and it has no
    support from Asus.

    That will be a massive problem, because an 10
    years old computer has roughly the same performance as a new one, so
    most PCs are very old, and have no W10 drivers despite surpassing the
    minimum requirements.

  • FYI, I just had a client who upgraded to Windows 10 for 3 reasons: 1) because Microsoft kept nagging her 2) because her friend did and 3) she thought that upgrading might help make her slow computer faster. The installation went fine except for the fact that Windows 10 somehow didn’t completely finish “finalizing” the setup and kept logging her in with a temporary profile. As some of you may know, when logging in with a temporary profile, the user does not have access to any of their files or settings. Needless to say, the user freaked out because they thought they lost all their data. The good news was that with just a little fiddling, and basically just a reboot, Windows 10 ran though the “Hello … We’re setting things up for you …” process and fixed the temporary profile issue. All her files and data were back where they were supposed to. So all well that ends well, but this is exactly the type of situation that I warned about. She upgraded without knowing exactly what she was getting into and unexpected problems arose. Additionally, she was confused by the new Windows 10 interface. FYI, the reason her “computer” was slow was that her new wireless router/modem from AT&T U-Verse was not putting out a strong enough signal to reliably reach the room her computer was in and her Internet speed was ridiculously slow.

    Imagine if this user had starting mucking around with the system and made things worse. Or if she called “the neighbor kid” and they really screwed things up. The more that Microsoft continues to nag people into upgrading to Windows 10, the more that problems like this will happen. While it now appears that the initial rollout of Windows 10 went fairly smooth, with no reports of widespread problems, the potential for Microsoft to die a death of a thousand cuts still exists. I have a feeling that many people are currently ignoring the Windows 10 nag prompts, but as millions of people finally have enough and go ahead and perform the upgrade, this type of scenario could play out again and again. Stay tuned, folks, as Microsoft is not yet in the clear.

  • bluemonkey9

    Micro$ is pushing hard my computers to take full control through Windows 10. No matter how hard I’m struggling against Micro$, every 3 days he is invading my computers trying to install Windows 10 by CONQUEST.
    Uninstalling KB3035583 and KB2952664 at Windows update,
    won’t stop Windows 10 pushing on you.
    HKLMSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsGWX /v DisableGWX
    /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001 (it doesn’t stop it)
    Deleting Folders C:$windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS. Tweakbit
    doesn’t help too
    Press start> type regedit> click regedit.exe> click YES>at registry editor> click Edit> scroll to Find>type GWX>
    wait for a while and you could se the file GWX with 4 under
    folders:
    Preservation, TrayIcon, Triggers and Usage. Many other
    folders compose each of folders.
    If you mess-up with them then your computer may be HISTORY. ( Fail to Boot)
    And GWX> GWX.exe would reappear again at Windows > SysWOW64 if you are running a Windows 7 64 bit version.
    They caught me off guard and installed Windows 10 in my desktop. Not only Micro$ complicated everything, (if you want to find out what
    is going inside your computer), but now this desktop failed to recognize the
    Printer, Scanner, Fax Machine and other devices. The reason is simple. They failed because are not compatible with windows 10. There are not Drivers compatible for windows 10, for this printer on line. So if you have a lot of money, then install Windows 10, and replace all devices with brand new that support
    windows 10. Now I gave up from my desktop, and I let my 3 years old grandchild
    to play games, watch Movies, and run You Tube programs in Windows 10.
    But I use 2 old laptops with Windows XP Professional SP3, for Office, Excel, Photoshop and more. These 2 laptops has no access in internet because the cards are disabled. From here I can run many of my programs, in Quick Basic too,
    which is as powerful as C++ even in Graphics. With one of these programs I
    saved $100000 in mortgage, finding a strategy how and when to refinance, and
    how to prepay my mortgage. Of course the banking system doesn’t like this.

  • Roger Eaton

    My old windows 7 laptop died so I bought a new windows 8.1 laptop. I hated windows 8 and was glad that windows 10 was to be a free upgrade. After upgrading I was to discover that there was to my mind not much difference between windows 8 and 10. To be honest I hate it, I think trying to use the same operating system on pc’s, tablets and phones is a good idea but in reality it just does not work.
    With windows 7 Microsoft had a system that worked well for most pc users. If only they had stuck with it and issued updates as required to keep it up to date.
    In desperation I have now bought a second hand windows 7 laptop and will continue to use that until Microsoft either improves windows 10 or better still drops it in favour of a more user friendly system like windows 7. If that does not happen then I will probably move to the likes of Ubuntu as I feel Microsoft have yet again taken a step backwards instead of forwards.

  • Leon Samuelson

    I bought a new Dell laptop with Windows 10. For past 2 weeks I’ve been trying to make sense out of Windows 10. I’m about ready to send the damn thing back to Dell! Outlook is totally screwed up, impossible to access addresses without screwing around, the calendar and people tabs disappear. Getting help from Microsoft is impossible.

  • bluemonkey9

    I don’t know what Windows 10 means for Micro$, but they were a disaster for me.
    At my desktop Windows 10 went through and:
    All my devices Printer, Scanner, Fax, ….Camera and many more cannot be reached by this computer.
    Reason:
    Computer doesn’t recognize all devices.
    Why: Because these devices are not compatible with Windows 10.
    Reason: Needs new drivers for Windows 10.
    Solution:
    Download on line and install new Drivers compatible with windows 10.
    Micro$ trick and Trap:
    For all my devices, Drivers for windows 10 doesn’t exist (on line).
    Solution:
    Disposal all devices and go and buy brand new ONES.
    So I let my 3 years Old Grand son to play preloaded games, and use You tube for fan … at my Desktop.
    NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY Windows 10 are FREE …
    At my other laptop with windows 8.1, windows 10 vent through, created the same problems, but this computer is designated for my wife to watch movies and play games on line …
    At my laptop with windows 7, I did a mistake and accepted the offer: Micro$ try to install Windows 10, but thanks good failed at the final STEP.
    After Micro$ attempted and failed for the tenth time to install windows 10 then I had enough:
    I did many thing to cut off, many tentacles of Micro$ inside my laptop, still Micro$ is giving me 2 options:
    1 Install Now.
    2 Reschedule in 72 hours.
    Hey Micro$ I changed my mind, and I have Legal Right to Return Your product.
    Micro$. You have no right to Kidnap my Computer and Stop my updates on Windows 7 (which is my OS, I bought from you, I paid in full You, and You promised to grant Updates for my Windows 7).
    We have the right to sue the Micro$ for:
    1 Invalidating all our devices through Windows 10 (If they are not compatible).
    2 For breaching the contract (declining to continue upgrades of their product Windows 7, in my computer).
    3 For the time wasting to deal with Micro$, which is attempting and failing to install Windows 10, in my computed, that means making useless my computer for hours during each attempt and failure to install windows 10 in my computer over, and over, and over … and over again.
    I do know how to wipe out my HD, at my laptop kidnapped by Micro$, using (Dban Nuke and Boot).
    I know how to reinstall any Version of Windows 7, and validate.
    I know how to bypass Micro$, but for people that are computer Illiterate, then Windows 10 may be a DISASTER.

  • Asok Asus

    How to Fix Infinite Windows 10 Reinstalls After Rollback From a W7/W8 W10 “Upgrade” and How to Fix Certain Other Rollback Issues

    I just had a client who unwittingly allowed W10 to “upgrade” her W7 system. She asked me to roll W10 back to W7 because W10 was so fundamentally broken and slow it was unusable. Here’s my story of that rollback.

    First, the W10 All Settings menu was broken right from the get go after the W10 “upgrade”, so until I fixed that, it was impossible to access Update and Security to perform the rollback.

    Looking at Event Viewer, every time I tried to open All Settings, SynTPEnh.exe, one of the Synaptics touchpad driver helper programs, crashed.

    Figuring that was causing the problem, I removed the Synaptics touchpad item from add/remove. For good measure, while I was at it, I removed Norton, figuring that might be problematic, as well as a few other applications like icloud, quicktime, and itunes, figuring they would be restored during the rollback anyway. Turns out that was a HUGE mistake though the rollback would have been impossible without removing at least the Synaptics software.

    At any rate, after rebooting after removing all of this stuff, All Settings started functioning for the first time, and I could perform the rollback with Update and Security.

    And then the nightmare began.

    First, rolling back did not undo the original W10 reservation, so no matter what I did, I could not keep W10 from redownloading and reattempting to reinstall. Searching the web, I found no solution, but did find MANY people nearly in tears with the same problem. Looking at how all this works, it looks to me like probably everyone who rolled back from W10 is going to find that their reservation does not get cancelled and that W10 is going to attempt to reinstall forever.

    But I finally came up with a solution that I think should work to solve this problem for everyone.

    1. Make a Restore Point for insurance.

    2. From the Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories, start a cmd window in Administrative mode by right clicking Command Prompt to expose the context sensitive drop down menu and left click on “Run as Administrator”. Leave the cmd window open for subsequent commands, and after each reboot, immediately reopen cmd in Administrator mode like this for subsequent commands.

    3. Set automatic updates to Never check for updates: cut & paste into the open cmd window:

    REG ADD “HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateAuto Update” /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001 /f

    4. Disable and stop the Windows Update service (wuauserv): cut & paste into the open cmd window:

    sc config wuauserv start= disabled

    (note that the space after “=” is critical)

    When that’s done, cut and paste into the open cmd window:

    net stop wuauserv

    5. Now remove KB3035583: cut & paste into the open cmd window::

    wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /norestart

    Note, at this time, if you wish to go ahead and remove the recent plethora of W10 spyware that Microsoft has installed on your W7/W8 systems, you can repeat the above command as follows:

    wusa /uninstall /kb:3022345 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:2990214 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:3012973 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart
    wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /norestart

    (Note that not all of these will be on all systems.)

    6. Restart the system. Note that sometimes after removing the above updates, the restart can take a LONG time, sometimes even hours; be patient, it should eventually complete.

    7. Now delete C:$WINDOWS.~BT via cleanmgr (“cleanmgr” cut and pasted into the cmd window), using its Clean Up System Files option which appears after cleanmgr makes its initial (lengthy) scan. After the second (lengthy) scan from using the Clean Up System Files option, you’ll see one or two of the categories showing +GB sizes, though you can pretty much safely check all the categories for deletion if you wish (though I tend to leave the setup logs and error categories alone so you can see these in Event Viewer). Good instructions for doing this can be found at addictivetips DOT com/windows-tips/what-is-the-windows-bt-folder-on-my-hard-drive/

    8. Delete the C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution folder, which btw can’t be deleted without first doing Step 4. Also, don’t worry: when you eventually restart Updates, SoftwareDistribution will be recreated.

    Cut & paste into the cmd window:

    rmdir /s /q “%SystemRoot%SoftwareDistribution”

    9. Fire up regedit from the cmd window, and search for and remove all keys named GWX (and gwx). An easy way to do this is to use the match whole string option of regedit’s search box. Also the search is case insensitive so all GWX/gwx will be found in one search no matter which way you type it. There will be 4-6 instances of this key in the registry.

    10. Still in regedit, clear out all keys and values from HKLMSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdate EXCEPT what’s shown below. If the optional ElevateNonAdmins or NoAUAsDefaultShutdownOption don’t exist, ignore. If DisableOSUpgrade doesn’t exist (and it probably won’t) create it as a DWORD with value 1.

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdate]
    “ElevateNonAdmins”=dword:00000001
    “DisableOSUpgrade”=dword:00000001

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdateAU]
    “NoAUAsDefaultShutdownOption”=dword:00000001

    11. Still in regedit, clear out all keys and values from HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateOSUpgrade except what’s shown below. If DWORD values AllowOSUpgrade or ReservationsAllowed don’t exist or have values of “1”, create them and/or set to “0”. Set DWORD OSUpgradeState to “1”. Don’t worry about OSUpgradeStateTimeStamp.

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateOSUpgrade]
    “AllowOSUpgrade”=dword:00000000
    “ReservationsAllowed”=dword:00000000

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateOSUpgradeState]
    “OSUpgradeState”=dword:00000001
    “OSUpgradeStateTimeStamp”=”2015-09-10 05:15:58”

    12. Reboot

    13. Set automatic updates to: Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them: cut & paste into the open cmd window:

    REG ADD “HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdateAuto Update” /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 00000002 /f

    14. Re-enable and start the Windows Update service (wuauserv): cut & paste into the open cmd window:

    sc config wuauserv start= auto

    (note that the space after “=” is critical)

    When that’s done, cut and paste into the open cmd window:

    net start wuauserv

    15. Now check for updates via Windows Update in Control Panel, and you should no longer see Windows 10 try to download and install, but instead normal W7/W8 updates should be working again. Be sure to uncheck KB3035583 (and any of the others you remove in Step 5), and then right click on them and select Hide, so they will never come back.

    However, for me, the REAL nightmare began!

    As it turns out, when you roll back from W10, the old W7/W8 registry is restored but NOT any modified and/or deleted Program files. Thus, there’s a complete mismatch between the restored W7/W8 registry and any programs altered or deleted when in W10.

    In my case, after the rollback to W7, icloud, Norton 360, Quicktime, iturns, Citrix and others had registry entries as if installed, but all of the installation files were missing.

    Naturally, none of these would reinstall because of the (corrupted) apparent pre-existing installation, and of course they couldn’t be uninstalled since the uninstaller files were missing.

    So I used several tools such as zuninstaller and Windows Cleanup Utility to remove the Add/Remove objects, and manually removed other entries from HKLM/SOFTWARE. ccleaner might have been very helpful here, but I don’t really trust it.

    But worse, thousands of the “restored” registry entries had been corrupted in HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInstallerUserDataS-1-5-18Components by having no ownership! Thus they could not be overwritten when reinstalling the programs.

    I spent hours using powerful features in Registrar Registry Manager (RRM) Home Edition to find these keys and remove them in bulk. RRM was particularly vital because it could remove the no-owner keys, whereas regedit could not. Basically, once I found a bad key in Components, I did a search for all instances of that key in Components and then did a bulk delete with RRM.

    Eventually, I was able to reinstall the programs I had uninstalled in W10.

    Bottom line, Windows 10 itself is an absolute and total travesty, and rolling it back is likely to be a complete nightmare. Windows 10 is BY FAR the worst OS ever made by Microsoft, much worse than even W8.x, because W8.x can be made to behave pretty decently with Classic Shell and a few other tweaks, and does not have half the programs moved into the dumbed-down app mode and half the controls split beteen Control Panel and half in the dumbed-down app mode All Settings..

    • Wow, that’s quite a lot of work you went through!

      • Asok Asus

        It was. Took me a while to figure it all out. Not all steps will be necessary for everyone, but wanted to write up what I discovered to help others.

  • tgvas

    MARCEL! WOW, I am simply aghast at your ignorance or out & out refusal to report the facts.
    WINDOWS 10 is a surveillance “big Brother” operating System, and what’s more, it is likely one of the very last, or the last operating system that gives any allowance to the user to actually owning it, or being able to keep their personal data limited to their hard drive.
    THAT IS WHY MICROSOFT (NSA) is PUSHING it so hard on the user,
    SNAP OUT OF IT, you are not reporting the facts that Users must be made aware of!

    Stay away from Windows 10, but be ready to know how to turn off the multitude of programs running on it that blatantly send out your most personal info!

    • The Truth

      I bet you are a blast at parties.

      • tgvas

        what’s wrong?., bust your bubble of ignorance?

  • peter

    Big deal I have nothing to hide I don’t give a f@$$@# if someone knows what I am doing… I HAVE nothing on my PC that’s bothers me at all. Also I have google earth I don’t know what the fuss is about and I have been using computers for 20 odd years

  • ingtrust

    I hate the Photos at Windows 10 and wish to have the earlier version of Windows 8.
    And why is “Mail” and “Outlook” in Windows 10 sluggish and/or not working up to par? Yep, I wish that Microsoft would come up with fixes that is user friendly or an auto fix these….

  • PETER

    last year I had a new computer never had a problem with it ,kept getting prompts to upgrade to windows ten for free but resisted ,nothing is for free ,then February this year it popped up and I thought ok why not ,OH s–t ,then the problems began ,what disaster , nightmare ,started would not run anything ,could not get to mail ,nothing would work ,would not even shut down ,hp comp techs took over computer for two lengthy sessions to make it work ,it did sort of ,things were deleted ,missing and awkward to use but I carried on ,it was hard and frustrating and my temper was stretched nothing would work until adverts loaded then it was slow and jerky ,seemed to work when and how Microsoft dictated ,then two weeks ago it would not open emails until adverts loaded then I lost it big just smashed it up ,I had had enough ,new computer ,not much better but I am resigned and experienced at what expect ,had a perfectly good computer no problems then I got windows ten .WHAT A DISASTER ,A BALLS UP , A NIGHTMARE ,FRUSTRATING ,CONTROLLING , I HATE IT AND ACTIVELY DISCORAGE OTHERS FROM GOING NEAR IT ,COMPUTER USAGE NOW , NOT ENJOYABLE REALLY YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN ,CRAP DISASTER NIGHTMARE GIVE ME MY PREVIOUS OPERATING SYSTEM BACK WAS GREAT NO PROBLEMS . PETER , UK.

  • doug

    Microsoft can shove windows 10 up their a## it does not work. my machine freezes. nothing works my computer shuts down for no reason. I took windows off my computer and reloaded windows 8 now it is faster works better I like to sue Microsoft for damages window 10 caused on my computer. never never never use windows 10

  • Lord Proteus

    I can tell you now that Windows 10 is a complete travesty. The damn thing can’t even update itself properly. Seriously it is constantly “trying” to update itself, sometimes attempting to do so for weeks or even a month at a time, and often times it fails to update even when it hijacks your computer to take 2-8 hours to apply updates before booting up. It is a complete and utter pathetic joke of programming, easily the worst Windows OS to date.